Learning from Traditional Architecture: The Example of Somba



One of the primary purposes of man’s shelter is protection against adverse or undesirable climate environments, which also includes adaptability and ability to mould its material content to provide comfort. Indeed, shelter is a basic’ requirement of human existence from physical stresses imposed by the environment and climate variations provide the most common set of stresses on homeotherrns. Adedeji (2004) argued that housing issues affect the life of individuals as well as that of a nation; hence both nature and society ascribed great importance to the role it plays to bring about human comfort.

All over the world, urban centres are expanding by migration and natural population increase. This is especially true of the tropical countries where the proportions of urban centres are increasing fast. The poor population of this region is pushed into the urban centres because of the lure of the city. Once in the city, they face problems of inadequate of unavailable housing and where available, these buildings (usually mid latitude European styles) do not really or meet the desired need of the people. The other poor ones left behind in the rural areas are also faced with the pressure of abandoning their traditional way of life including their architecture in preference for imported architecture and styles. In the process, because of the inferiority complex, many no longer have homes. There is also a breakdown or loss of traditional skills in traditional house design.

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